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2003-07-10

Joseph Wilson, Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Debunks Iraq-Niger Uranium Deal and Why the U.S. Went to War

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Last year the Bush administration sent Wilson to Niger to investigate reports that the African nation sold uranium to Iraq to revamp nuclear program. He found no evidence of the sale, but President Bush cited the "sale" as a reason to invade Iraq.

A top US intelligence official who served under the Bush administration up until last year accused the White House yesterday of lying about Iraq and misusing intelligence.

Gregory Thielmann, a former director in the state department’s bureau of intelligence, said yesterday: "I believe the Bush administration did not provide an accurate picture to the American people of the military threat posed by Iraq. Most of it lies with the way senior officials misused the information they were provided."

Thielmann had access to the classified reports which formed the basis for the US case against Saddam.

Thielmann went on to say, "This administration has had a faith-based intelligence attitude ... 'We know the answers–give us the intelligence to support those answers'."

Thielmann is one of the most high profile whistleblowers that have gone public questioning Bush’s move toward war.

Another whistleblower was Joseph Wilson, a lifetime U.S. diplomat who served as the acting ambassador to Iraq in the lead-up to the Gulf War.

Last year the CIA financed Wilson to go to Niger last year to investigate reports that the African nation sold uranium to Iraq. Wilson found no proof such a sale occurred but the Bush Administration cited the alleged sale in making its case for war.

Wilson told the Washington Post, "It really comes down to the administration misrepresenting the facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification for going to war. It begs the question, what else are they lying about."

In an piece written in The New York Times on Sunday, Wilson wrote: "Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."

On June 14, Wilson spoke at a forum on Iraq hosted by the Education for Peace in Iraq Center. He began by speaking about an unnamed retired ambassador who recently traveled to Niger. Over the weekend Wilson revealed that the ambassador he was referring to was himself.

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